Filipina golfer Yuka Saso became the very first Filipina to win a golf major as she won the 2021 US Women’s Open title after beating Japanese Nasa Hataoka in the third hole of the playoff on Monday morning at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
The 19-year old Filipina-Japanese sensation showed incredible resilience as she bounced back from a sluggish start of the final round, overtook Lexi Thompson and caught Hataoka, who ended up with a 4-under par. After the two exchanged pars on the first two playoff holes, Saso finally broke through in the third as she sank a 10-foot birdie putt to win the crown and join 2008 champion Inbee Park as the youngest winners of the tournament.
For a while there, it seemed as if Saso was headed towards a disastrous ending as she started the final round with double-bogeys on the second and third holes. However, she regained her confidence with a birdie on hole no. 7 and later, sank consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to tie Hataoka and forge a playoff.
The playoff came after Thompson—who led by four strokes with just eight holes left—suffered a catastrophic slide that began with a double-bogey at the 11th hole followed by another bogey at the 14th that cut her lead down to a single stroke. She then missed a par putt at the 17th to fall into a tie for first place. She ended up with a four-over par 75 that placed her in solo third with a 281. (JNP)